Friday, October 30, 2009

The Photos

The photos of Nicholas Lodge and all of my classmates from October's Gumpaste class have arrived. I had such a great time, I am already started plotting for the next visit.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Kelly Brown's Images

Look at the beautiful images Kelly Brown sent me. Thank you for your generosity.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ski-ing To The Reception

This cake topper was actually used on a cake much earlier in my season, but I thought it was so cute. It will be quite apt once the white stuff starts to fly. I just can't say it yet, I'm not ready.

Five Dozen in Nine

Five dozen in nine sounds like a sports phrase, but what is really signifies is the winding down of wedding season and the beginning of cookie season for Office parties, family holiday gatherings, or corporate thank you gifts. There is always a good time to give or receive a cookie box.

Acetate boxes filled with 5 dozen treats in 9 varieties including raspberry white chocolate, cinnamon almond, chocolate oatmeal...

I can smell the spices now.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Birthday Girl

Katrina has already posted this on Facebook, but I had to share this pretty little cake I did for her daughter's 2nd birthday. Thanks for being so fast with the photos. You are a doll.

Happy Birthday Ainsley!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It Is An Honor

I met with Jeff today to talk about this year's cake design for the Holiday Party for the 5th Special Forces Group(ABN). I did their patches a pin on the camouflage worn during the Vietnam War.

This year we have decided to use an image of a soldier descending from a helicopter, since this is what Jeff and his unit did. In my search for images, I came across some wonderful sites honoring those who served.

It is an honor to be asked to once again design a cake for this fine group of men.

*Helicopter image sourced from the MACV Recondo School site. Beret, patch and decals provided by Jeff.

Thank you to all who serve.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Black and White

Black and White with the reddest of roses. Very romantic.

Psychedelic Cake Dreams

Fun Birthday Cake and cupcakes!

A Seasonal Concept

It is a gorgeous time of year to take advantage of seasonal themes. They can be simple or involved, and not all of them need to be expensive.

Curly willow, some fall leaves and a few handfuls of rose petals can go a long way.

An elegant re-creation of white pumpkins.

An intimate affair made sweet with fondant and gumpaste leaves.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Perilous Paperclip

Who knew that a random meeting between a paperclip and a tire could prove fatal.
Alas, I have the receipt for a new tire to prove it so.

Continuing Education

It has been my philosophy that you can never stop learning, a feeling shared by many of my friends in the culinary field.
That was one of the reasons for going to Chicago for Nicholas Lodge's class last weekend.

There were other reasons to go:
Even though I knew I had already made many of the flowers he taught us, now I make some of them better. Some flowers were new to me, so now I have expanded my skills. I made some new acquaintances, so now my professional network has expanded. I ate great food, so now I can say I ate great food!(Honestly, that was a great incentive for this trip as well).

So, this old dog can always be taught a new trick, ideas can be exchanged, techniques be improved or replaced with better ones, and I saw things from a different perspective. Because of this class and chatting with my classmates, new cake ideas are emerging.

Continuing Education is a lifelong adventure. I am glad I didn't miss it!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Groom's Cake or Cake Top?

Twenty years ago, give or take, a groom's cake was a chocolate affair covered in ganache, truffles, chocolate dipped fruits and lots of greens, fresh as well as chocolate dipped.

In the last decade, it has evolved into a 3-dimensional, themed confection to illustrate the groom's hobby, career or funny quirk.

In just the last couple of days I have learned that the term "groom's cake" can also be defined as the small cake saved for the anniversary. Usually 5 or 6 inched in diameter, decorated like the displayed wedding cake or maybe more fancifully.
Ahh...This revelation has explained a couple of phone inquiries that left me puzzled.

This small cake is what I call the "cake top" since it used to be the top tier of the wedding cake, removed and boxed, to be taken home by the bride and groom at the end of the reception. I simply box and wrap it separately, so no one has to touch it but me.

No worries, I just have to ask the right questions to be sure my groom's cake/cake top definitions matches that of the brides calling.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Lunch at The Institute

Margaret and I went to the Art Institute of Chicago today. Had lunch in the Modern Wing at Terzo Piano(named for the architect of the new wing).

I had a Mezuna salad with poached chicken roulade, avocado and lime cilantro vinaigrette. Dessert was a fried peach pie with honey lavender ice cream. MMMMmmmmm.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Charge It!

Note to self: Bring your camera's charger when on a trip.

More later.

Class at The French Pastry School

Our class of 10 began the 7 flowers we will be learning(in some cases, refining) over the three-day period. We are a diverse group including a chemist, some cake shop owners, a pastry chef, and a couple who do this just for fun.

There couldn't be a nicer man than Nicholas Lodge. A master of his art, a great teacher, he is supportive, kind and moves us along at a pace that is fast but never leaves anyone behind.

Now, if I could just center my stephanotis!